Google has increased support for Windows workloads on its Google Cloud Platform.
The company announced Dec. 8 that it will now offer Microsoft License Mobility, Windows Server 2008 R2 Datacenter Edition and a free version of the Chrome Remote Desktop (RDP) application on its Google Compute Engine infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) platform.
The enhancements are designed to let businesses move their Windows applications from on-premises installations to the cloud more easily, Google Cloud Platform Product Manager Martin Buhr said in a blog post. "Our customers, large and small, have put a number of things on their holiday wish lists, including better support of their Windows-based workloads, leveraging the performance and scale of Google datacenters," Buhr said.
Microsoft License Mobility for Google Cloud Platform will let businesses migrate their existing Windows applications such as Exchange Server, SharePoint and SQL Server to the Cloud Platform without having to worry about additional licensing costs and fees. License Mobility support will let customers continue to take advantage of their existing licenses while also giving them the additional benefits of the cloud, Buhr said.
"Not only does license mobility make the transition easier for existing customers, it provides customers who prefer to purchase perpetual licenses the ability to continue doing so while still taking advantage of the efficiencies of the cloud," he said.
Businesses looking to run high-end Windows workloads in the cloud will soon also be able to tap Windows Server 2008 R2 Datacenter Edition for the Google Cloud Platform. The software presently is only available in beta form on the Cloud Platform, but Google plans to build on the offering and already has started work on introducing Windows Server 2012 and 2012 R2 versions for the cloud.
Meanwhile, support for Chrome RDP on the Google Cloud Platform means customers using the Chrome browser will be able to create remote desktop sessions to their Windows apps in Google Compute Engine without the need for any additional software, Buhr claimed. "In addition, because Google Developers Console stores and passes the login for the Windows credentials to the RDP app, customers are able to leave the complexity of managing unique user IDs and passwords for each Windows instance to Google," he said.
The enhancements continue an effort by Google to try to win more business from enterprise customers. Although Google is a heavyweight on the consumer side of things, it has had a fairly hard time getting large companies to take its suite of business applications and its cloud platform very seriously.
But that may be changing, according to analyst firm Technology Business Research (TBR). The firm earlier this year assessed Google's Cloud Platform strategy with that of others, most notably Amazon and its Amazon Web Services (AWS) offering.
"Today, AWS' technology and go-to-market strategy is more mature than Google's, but recent Google investments will elevate the business and, for the first time, give AWS real competition," TBR analyst Jillian Mirandi noted in the report.
Google has the resources, the innovativeness and the ability to compete with Amazon on price, even though the two companies' go-to-market strategies are different. Unlike Amazon, Google does not directly work with enterprise customers and instead prefers reaching them through partnerships with independent software vendors and managed service providers, Mirandi wrote.
Google's and Amazon's ability to continuously innovate, launch and improve cloud platforms and servers has put them ahead of the market. "But [it is] placing them in greater competition with each other," Mirandi said in the report.